Whole30 and Gluten Free Sausage and Vegetable Soup

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Whole30 and Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (4 links) of Compliant Chicken Sausage (I used Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausage)
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1  14.5oz can of organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • 1 cup piece of egg plant cut in spears  (does not have to be precise)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 Small yellow pepper
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 Small green pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1T dried oregano
  • 1T Italian seasoning
  • 1T kosher salt
  • 1T black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 4 large basil leaves
  • 2T fresh parsley
  • 2T extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Dice red onion, and 3 peppers finely.
  2. Smash garlic cloves
  3. Add 1T of the olive oil to a hot pan (I use an enameled Dutch Oven)
  4. Sauté the onion, peppers, and garlic in the olive oil
  5. Take the sweet potato and cut into bite sized chunks.  Microwave for 3 minutes to soften a bit.  They will cook the rest of the way through in the broth
  6. Slice the tomato into chunks and the zucchini and eggplant rustically (I chose spears)
  7. Brush remaining olive oil onto vegetables and place on a hot grill pan, flipping once to get grill marks on both sides.  You will want the vegetables still a little al dente before taking them off of the grill pan.
  8. While the grill pan is still hot, take the sausages and cut then into bite size chunks.
  9. Place them on the grill pan just to caramelize a bit (they are already cooked)
  10. Add diced tomatoes to the sautéed veggies
  11. Add the softened sweet potatoes
  12. Add the grilled vegetables
  13. Add chicken stock. Bring  up to a boil
  14. When it comes up to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Add in sausage, oregano and Italian seasoning
  15. Taste the broth and adjust salt and pepper if need be
  16. After 20 minutes, tear the basil, put it in the soup, and let sit while you turn the heat down
  17. Ladle into bowl and top with chopped parsley

How I Make My Whole 30 Meal Prep Plan

 

One of the biggest surprises to me when I first started my Whole30 journey, was how much fun cooking was for me again.  It used to be so therapeutic for me and many fond memories were spent in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother.  But, this took a very unhealthy detour for a few years.  The Whole30 has given me the structure and parameters to be able to get back into the kitchen and prepare meals, knowing that I am feeding my body with nutrient dense, clean ingredients.  It also has given me that creative outlet that I have not been able to tap into in quite some time.

My actual meal planning system is pretty simplistic. I use two delivery services to keep things well stocked.  I use Butcher Box for meat delivery once a month as well as Thrive Market for all of my pantry essentials. I cannot say enough good things about both of the places. The products have been of the highest caliber and I have not been disappointed at all.  Because of this, that really only leaves weekly market trips to pick up produce and a few other things from time to time.  I have subscriptions via Amazon Prime for my Vital Proteins Collagen and RX Bars.  These are also delivered to me monthly.

I usually sketch out what my week will look like using the following formula……..

  • 2 days of meals using things I already have
  • 2 days creating or testing a recipe that I have been working on (I absolutely love this)
  • 1 day making a recipe from someone else- This could be from one of the Whole30 cookbooks or from a recipe from a blog
  • 1 day either going out for dinner or eating leftovers

 

I also cook so that I can use the leftovers as my lunch throughout the week.  When I do go to the market, I use a simple sticky note system that works well for me.  I take 3 sticky notes and put them on a piece of paper…..I write down my plans for the week, the meals I plan to make with things I have, the meals I want to test or create, as well as one recipe that I would like to try (I always put the page number if it is a cookbook).  I then flip the paper over and put 1-2 sticky notes on it, and make a list of the things I need to get from the market.  I take this paper to the store with me to shop.  When I return home, the paper is immediately put up on my refrigerator as my “game plan”.  I cross of things as I make them.

I like this system for many reasons.  It helps keep me organized.  It is portable; I can always take the sticky notes off and re-write them if things change.  As I cook, I often will write notations in the margins of things that I did or changed, or want to change in the future.  It also really helps me focus on a week of mindful clean eating and helps keep me on a budget.

 

 

 

 

Whole30 and Gluten Free Crispy Chicken Salad

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Whole30 and Gluten Free

Ingredients:

1 cup of Instant pot shredded chicken Whole30 and Gluten Free Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

1 teaspoon of ghee

3-4 big leaves of bib lettuce

4 sliced radishes

5 sliced heirloom baby tomatoes

marinated onions (from @nocrumbsleft)

Lemon and Tahini Dressing Whole30 and Gluten Free Lemon Tahini Sauce/Dressing

 

Directions:

  1. Heat up ghee in cast iron skillet
  2. Put shredded chicken in the skillet and heat up, until it crisps up
  3. Lay lettuce on plate
  4. Add crisped up chicken
  5. Arrange radishes
  6. Arrange Tomatoes
  7. Add some of the marinated onions with a drizzle of the herb oil that they are marinating in
  8. Add a drizzle of the Lemon and Tahini Dressing

 

 

Whole30 and Gluten Free Lemon Tahini Sauce/Dressing

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Whole30 and Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flat leaf parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of tahini paste
  • the juice of 1 lemon (2 if the lemon is not that juicy)
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Juice the lemon into a blender (I use a little bullet blender to make things easier)
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients
  3. Blend until creamy
  4. To use is at a sauce, you can adjust the tahini if needed.  To use it as a dressing, you can add more lemon juice if needed
  5. You can cover and store for 2-3 days.  Great on fish and pork as well

Me Time

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Sounds simple enough..right?  For some people, it is innate….finding that balance. Taking the time that they need to refresh, rejuvenate, and enjoy hobbies.  I have always been envious of this.  That is not to say that I have not enjoyed things…I have.  But, to find that balance on a consistent basis has been a challenge.    So, I gave myself a bit of homework this year.

  1.  This year, I planned to work on my health and working through some rounds of Whole30, hoping to get my inflammation flareups under control, and get a better understanding of my food triggers; in addition to those that I already know.
  2. I planned to research and learn as much as I can about, gluten allergies, food triggers, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, celiac disease, mindfulness, and meditation
  3. I planned to read for enjoyment.  It is something that I have not been able to do for a very long time.  Carving in that time is extra important
  4. I planned to listen to 2-3 podcasts each week that inspire, motivate me, or simply make me laugh.  There are so many good ones out there.
  5. I planned to practice morning and nighttime meditation.  This would be no more than 20 minutes and I would incorporate one 5 minute session a work if need be
  6. I foam roll every day.  My job at times can be physically challenging.  I have had back issues in the past.  I find taking 5 minutes with the foam roller, helps with circulation, flexibility, and helps hit pressure areas and releases pain.
  7. I planned to find 1-2 inspirational quotes or mantras a day that I would focus on
  8. I planned to start a social media account where I knew no-one and follow people that I found inspiring and motivational
  9. I planned to incorporate music more into my day.  It has been my “therapy” since day one and has helped shape me into who I am today
  10. I planned to start a blog for myself…where I could share bits and pieces of my journey and post recipes that were gluten free and Whole30 compliant.  Maybe if someone else did read some of what I have been through from a medical staindpoint, they could relate and maybe it would inspire others who enjoy cooking.
  11. I planned to take more pictures of my food and write up recipes.  I read cookbooks like novels and find inspiration everywhere.  I rarely ever follow a recipe or make the same thing more than once; unless it was really good.  I have started writing up my own recipes more when someone asks me to share it.  It is such a creative outlet and I enjoy it a lot.
  12. Essential oils are something I knew nothing about.  I have done a bit of research.  I have diffusers in different areas of my house and enjoy the ambiance and calming effect I have.  I diffuse oils starting an hour before I go to bed and it runs throughout the night.  It is part of my bedtime routine.
  13. I planned to be more mindful of my sleep.  Insomnia is something I have struggled with.  I bought new bedding.  I try and stick with my routine and a sleep schedule.  It has helped.
  14. A self care checklist is something I have incorporated for the last few months.  This idea was posted by Danika Brysha (@danikabrysha).  She has blogged about it and I have seen it a few times on her Instagram Stories.  I modified a checklist that works for me and have used it consistently.  I really do see the benefits; the organization, the quiet reflection time, and the brief analysis and feelings gauge that it gives.
  15. The last thing was something I always enjoyed doing but never had time for.  I give myself time for the bath, the face mask, the dry brushing, the body scrub, the hair mask, the toe nail painting……anything that makes me feel better about me and feels indulgent, I allot a bit of time for.  This mostly happens on Self Care Sunday but, I do bits throughout the week as well.

 

Essentially, I do not have it all figured out.  I am trying to figure out things bit by bit; hence the name “EternalWorkInProgressGal”.  I am okay with that.  I really am.  But, allowing myself this “me time” has been eye opening already.   I have reconnected with myself in some ways and discovered myself in others.  I would encourage anyone to try doing some of these things or create your own self care challenge that would allow you to tap into more of what makes you happy, fulfilled, and whole.

Whole30 and Gluten Free Prosciutto Asparagus Bundles

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Whole30 and Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 24 asparagus spears
  • avocado cooking spray
  • thin sliced prosciutto

Directions:

  1. Take one asparagus spear.  Break off the bottom, where it naturally breaks.  Use that as a marker for cutting the rest, making sure they are all around the same size
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spray the top with avocado oil cooking spray
  4. Take two asparagus spears, wrap them with the proscuitto
  5. Put the bundles on the baking sheet
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until prosciutto is crispy and the asparagus is tender

Whole30 and Gluten Free Bolognese Sauce with Spiralized Zucchini Noodles

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Whole30 and Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups of stock (I used chicken that I had made in my Instant pot)
  • 2T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 medium carrots peeled
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 T fresh basil
  • 2 T fresh parsley
  • 3 T of tomato paste
  • 2 lbs of ground beef ( I use 85% meat to 15% fat from Butcher Box)
  • spiraled zucchini noodles

Directions:

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat up stock
  2. Dice the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic
  3. Heat olive oil in dutch oven
  4. Sautee vegetables
  5. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Add ground beef and slowly sauté until browned
  7. Add tomato paste and cans of diced tomatoes
  8. Add Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes
  9. Let sauce simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  If it needs to be thinned out, ladle in a bit of chicken stock
  10. Chop parsley
  11. Tear basil and put on top of sauce along with parsley
  12. Add sauce to the top of the spiralized zucchini noodles. The heat of the sauce will wilt spiralized noodles a bit.
  13. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top